Ahmed Elmohamady’s late goal secured a crucial point for Aston Villa in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Wednesday.
The Magpies were better money for a win but Villa worked hard for its break, a set piece that Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka will want back.
Newcastle stays 13th with 39 points, 12 clear of the bottom three.
Villa’s point gives its 27 but keeps it in 19th place, level on points with 18th place Bournemouth and 17th place West Ham.
Three things we learned
1. Smith’s scrappers keep scrapping: Aston Villa is finding points when other teams at the bottom are failing to, and that might be enough given how bad the other relegation sides look. It was fitting that an old Steve Bruce favorite in Elmohamady provided the headed equalizer on Conor Hourihane’s corner kick and even if Martin Dubravka should’ve done better, the Villans shouldn’t feel like they robbed a point.
2. Tyrone Mings: Look, Jack Grealish is an unreal talent and Villa through and through, but it’s difficult to properly describe the impact Tyrone Mings has on their back end. He was caught on the fringes marking Carroll when the big man swept in the assist on Gayle’s goal, but he’s directly responsible for denying so many scoring chances.
3. Saint-Max is Magpies wild card: There are few players in the world as dangerous, quick, and smart as Allan Saint-Maximin, who went 90 minutes in the draw. The French winger is a clever and consistent passer, connecting on three of six long balls and a key pass in the draw. He converted an almost absurd 10-of-11 dribbles and won 13-of-20 duels while drawing three fouls.
Man of the Match
Saint-Maximin. Again look at those numbers: 10-of-11 dribbles and 13-of-20 duels as a wide man.
Newcastle – Aston Villa recap
The best early chance fell to Villa’s Trezeguet at the back post, but he chopped it over the goal.
Tyrone Mings saved Villa’s hide when Jonjo Shelvey stole a ball in the final third and fed Joelinton into the box.
An Allan Saint-Maximin dribble led to a Matt Ritchie rip that was blocked by Orjan Nyland but fumbled before being cleared.
Trezquet headed an Anwar El Ghazi cross wide inn the 49th minute as Villa started brightly.
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Danny Rose led a terrific charge down the right with Ritchie but Miguel Almiron took an extra touch from prime shooting range and Mings blocked the effort for a corner.
Gayle put Newcastle ahead in the 69th minute, taking an Andy Carroll cross and sweeping a shot beyond the reach of Nyland.
Ezri Konza nearly had the Villans level before Elmohamady’s headed was lost by Dubravka, who was partially screened by a slow-to-react Jonjo Shelvey.
Villa was better money to score the next goal, but Newcastle held on for the point.Follow @NicholasMendola